n South African Journal of Surgery - Laterality of breast cancer at Dr George Mukhari Academic Hospital - general surgery

Volume 57 Number 3
  • ISSN : 0038-2361
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5151



Background: The purpose of this descriptive study was to determine and compare the incidence of left-sided and right-sided breast cancer at Dr George Mukhari Academic Hospital from January 2000 to June 2016. It aimed to determine if there was a significant variation in laterality of breast cancer at our institution.

Method: A retrospective study. Medical records of breast cancer (BC) patients who were newly diagnosed from January 2000 to June 2016 were reviewed. Emphasis was on biopsy results (histology and/or cytology) and/or history of chemotherapy, and breast cancer laterality.

Results: Out of 1482 patients, 1427 had unilateral BC and 55 (3.7%) bilateral cancer. A total of 789 (55.3%) patients had left-sided breast cancer (LSBC) and 638 (44.7%) had right BC. Left BC was 10.6% more common than right BC with a left to right laterality ratio (LRR) of 1.24. There was a statistically significant relationship between laterality and stage (p = 0.050), with the right breast having more advanced stage cancers (88.7%) compared to the left breast (85%). There was no statistically significant difference between age, site and histological type of BC and laterality (p = 0.740, p = 0.052, p = 0.394 respectively).

Conclusion: Left to right BC excess does exist in patients that were newly diagnosed at Dr George Mukhari Academic Hospital, South Africa, from January 2000 to June 2016.

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